Starting today, Rogers customers who purchase a BlackBerry Z10 or Q10 on select three-year terms will receive a free Blue Jays jersey. The offer is available for a limited time, for more details visit rogersjersey.com.
We’ll be bringing you coverage from Morrow’s autograph signing and asking him some of your questions from Twitter, live here on our blog beginning at 11:45. So stay tuned!
Happy Victoria Day weekend everyone! We’ve got your cottage reading right here to help you catch up on all the latest tech news, including more LTE rollouts, the price of coffee with Tim Cook, app domination and Google updates. All coming up in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading.
There’s an app for everything
Apple and BlackBerry both released reports on their respective app stores this week, and the figures were pretty mind blowing. In the short time since BlackBerry 10 launched, 120,000 apps have already become available for the platform in the Blackberry World store. There were 70,000 apps available when the Z10 and Q10 launched, so another 50,000 were created in a mere four months. BlackBerry president and CEO Thorsten Heins shared his excitement and future plans with BlackBerry Live here.
Apple also hit a milestone this week, reaching the 50 billionth download mark! The App Store first opened in 2008 with only 500 apps. Now almost five years later, the store is seeing downloads at a rate of 800 apps per second! Apple commemorated the occasion by awarding the 50 billionth downloader a $10,000 App Store gift card. Read more from the official press release from Apple here. I’m personally responsible for hundreds of those downloads myself! What are some of your faves? Let’s compare top picks in the comments below!
Rogers LTE rolls out in more markets this week!
Fantastic news announced today that we couldn’t wait to share with our RedBoard readers – our LTE Max network has launched in a number of new markets, including Brooks, Cochrane and Canmore, Alta. and Sault Ste. Marie and Muskoka, Ont. We also expanded our LTE network to Saint-Georges, Que.; Sydney, N.S.; Bathurst, N.B and expanded our coverage in the Moncton, N.B. area.
With these new cities launched, we’re still right on track to deliver with our commitment to launch our LTE network in 44 new markets this spring. With the LTE network expansion to cottage country, who’s going to take advantage in Muskoka this long weekend?
Google Play for Education
This week was huge for Google. Among their many announcements came news of an Android app being launched to aid in children’s education. Already piloted in select schools, the app enables teachers to search for educational apps for their subjects and grade levels. Teachers can then add the selected apps to Nexus tablets – all the students need is a Google account to access it.
Be sure to visit the official Google blog to keep up on all their latest developments on Google Play for Education and so much more.
Treat Tim Cook to a cup of Joe … for $610,000
Yes, you read that correctly, there are no typos where the numbers of zeros are concerned. In an auction on CharityBuzz, a bidder paid $610,000 for a 30 to 60 minute coffee break with the Apple CEO. Although it was a hefty price tag for a java jolt, proceeds will be going towards the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.
So what do you think they will talk about over their coffee? I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation!
Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor.
Long weekends see Canadians heading to the border in droves. Whether you’re heading south to spend time at the cottage, hit up the outlet malls or visit a tourist destination, we know the urge to have email and social media at your fingertips doesn’t disappear when you cross the border into the United States. Last week, we told you about our new worry-free roaming internet rate, giving customers access to up to 50 MB of data for $7.99 per 24 hour period. But how does it work?
How to take advantage of the new rate
When customers cross the U.S. border and turn on their Rogers smartphone, they are greeted with an SMS message that explains the new $7.99 rate has taken effect. The new affordable daily roaming rate automatically applies so customers do not need to purchase a roaming pack in advance. Existing customers in Quebec and Newfoundland must opt-in, one time only, when they receive the welcome message.
50 MB is enough data to load up to 50 maps, 200 web pages, 1,000 emails, 128 photos or 5,000 tweets.
That’s a lot of sharing. In fact, more than 95 per cent of our customers use less than 50 MB of data per day on Rogers network in Canada. While in the U.S., customers can also send a free text with the word “usage” to 3330 to get updates on their wireless internet usage when they are using the $7.99 rate.
Here are a few more tips, from TechEssentials, to help you control your data use when you’re on the go.
Disable apps you don’t need
Some devices allow applications to run in the background even when they’re not in use – a total waste of data. So make sure you review what apps are running and close any you don’t need before you hit the road.
Turn off the email push
Getting alerted the second an email arrives is certainly handy, but you’ll save data while you’re away by going into your email settings and turning off the automatic refresh and setting your email to “pull,” which tells your device to only download new emails when you manually check it.
Take advantage of Wi-Fi
By using Wi-Fi for activities that consume a lot of data, you can stretch your roaming data even further and save those megabytes for checking in with friends and family, finding out the address of that must-hit shop and other things that just can’t wait.
For more information, visit rogers.com/usroaming.
With Google Street View, you can virtually stroll down the street you lived on as a child, tour the Grand Canyon and now you can also click your way into Rogers retail locations across the country.
This inside view puts us in good company – the Google Street View Trolley toured Parliament Hill last month, capturing the House of Commons, the Senate, the Library of Parliament and the Prime Minister’s Office. The Google team will launch the interior view of Canada’s capital “in the coming months” and also plans to go inside the Calgary Saddledome, BC Place, Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum and Quebec City’s battlements.
South of the border, the Trolley has helped take people inside New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the White House. Further afield, the technology has taken digital tourists inside the National Museum of India, France’s Musee D’Orsay, the Tokyo National Museum and many more.
Has Google Street View taken you inside any interesting places? What buildings would you like to see mapped?
How it works
Virtuo360 Global took a series of high-quality panoramic images inside eight Rogers locations throughout Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec. These photos were then turned into a 360 degree Google Business Photos virtual tour, which is part of the Street View feature in Google Maps. Customers can enter the stores and “walk around” – via a series of zooms and clicks – to discover what the location has to offer.
How to check it out
Browse on over to your store’s Google + page (click the “See Inside” option) or visit the website for your local Rogers retail location on your computer or mobile device to load the virtual tour. On mobile, if you’re viewing it in your browser or Google Maps, you’ll see a “storefront” tour option. Once you’ve loaded the inside view, you simply need to scroll, zoom and click to check out every angle.
What stores are mapped?
Rogers is happy to be the first telecommunications company in Canada to offer this inside view. Eight locations are currently mapped, with 20 more stores scheduled to roll out in May. Customers can now take a virtual tour of the following locations:
Winnipeg: 1485 Portage Ave. (Polo Park)
Pointe Claire: 6815 Trans Canada Hwy. (Fairview Pointe Claire)
For Mother’s Day, what I really wish for is a way to fit everything in: quality time with my children and more than stolen moments with my spouse. I also dream about time for myself, free from distractions.
That’s why I decided to contact Clare Kumar. She’s a professional organiser at Streamlife and I’ve been reading her blog for tips on how to run my life a bit more smoothly. She was able to share some tips on how technology can help us moms:
How can technology help a family with time management?
Before we get into talking technology, consider the basic principle of time management and scheduling. Often activities just stay as ideas if they are not committed to a calendar. So, the first step in ensuring time for what’s important is to make sure you have a calendar system that works for you.
A great way for families to keep on top of each other’s commitments is by using shared calendars. With Google Calendars, you can hide/display your calendars and instantly customize your view. If you can see your commitments, you can make quick decisions on what you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to.
We have a rule in our home for booking evening events. If there is ever a double booking, the person with the new event has to arrange for a sitter. Forgetting to calendar the event can sometimes create a last minute scramble. It only took one of these to get everybody on board using the ‘family’ calendar system. Don’t forget to book ‘date nights’ for you and your spouse as a way of nurturing your relationship.
How can technology help busy parents spend some quality time with their children?
Share your own favourite childhood shows or new games with them. My son just turned twelve and we gifted him an iPad mini. He knows I’m a fan of WordsWithFriends and just asked to download it. I’m looking forward to sharing this with him. I bet both our vocabularies will grow.
Email is a great way to have real conversations with your kids, especially with teens, while also teaching them communication skills. I’ve set up my kids with email accounts so that I can drop them a line whenever I’m thinking of them and share the latest YouTube video that made me laugh.
If you’re a mom who happens to travel out of town but still want to maintain your nightly routine with your kids, consider using video calling services to read your kids a story or talk with them about your day.
Technology just keeps bringing new ways to bond with your children! I loved a recent story about new moms being able to bond with babies that were in a neonatal intensive care unit through a new iPad application called BabyTime. That’s got to be good for both mom and baby.
What are your favourite apps for “me” time?
To be the best mom and spouse, it’s important to keep yourself in good physical and mental shape. That means putting yourself first at times, or as I like to say, putting your oxygen mask on first. It may be as simple as plugging into your phone or tablet and listening to your favourite song, or perhaps a recorded meditation. Perhaps it’s writing down thoughts of gratitude in an online journal. Maybe it’s a little foray into Facebook and connecting with like-minded friends. Even small moments in your day can be restorative.
What’s your best time-saving tip?
Elise is a regular contributor to RedBoard.
Find your mobile on a map with Rogers Phone Finder
You can try to hunt down your lost handset with Rogers Phone Finder. It’s available to all Rogers customers – you just need to register your mobile number on the Phone Finder website: rogers.com/phonefinder. To sign up, visit the website, click “Register” to create an account and fill out your details. Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive an email – click the link to verify. A text message will then be sent to your mobile device. Reply to the message with “ALLOW” to finish the registration process.
As long as your cellphone is turned on and connected to the Rogers wireless network, the service will locate your device on an interactive online map.
To find your phone, log in on rogers.com/phonefinder and click “Locate My Phone.”
Customers can look up their phone for free five times each month. Extra lookups cost 20 cents each. Read more about Rogers Phone Finder here.
Hopefully, this will help reunite you with your handset. If not, read on.
Report your phone as missing
You can report your phone as lost or stolen online through your My Rogers account at Rogers.com. Once you’ve logged in, on your main page in the centre well, you’ll see a “Lost or Stolen Phone?” heading. Click on the second link, “Suspend Your Usage,” and follow the prompts to halt usage of the phone.
You can also find this option by clicking on the “Products & Services” tab, then selecting “Wireless.” Look under the “Lost or Stolen Phone?” heading for the “Suspend Your Usage” link, then follow the prompts.
Rogers will temporarily suspend the phone and block it from any further use. This will prevent you from being liable for any minutes or data used while the phone is missing.
You can also deactivate your phone by calling Rogers at 1-888-ROGERS1 (764-3771). You can then speak to a representative about options for replacing your phone.
Protect your phone in the future
The Rogers Device Protection service covers damage and malfunction as well as loss and theft (loss/stolen coverage is not available to customers in Saskatchewan, Quebec and Newfoundland). Replacement phones can ship as quickly as the next business day.
The Anti-Theft & Phone Finder portion of the coverage includes the ability to alarm, lock and wipe your device to protect your personal information. It also includes 25 Phone Finder lookups each month.
To learn more or to register for Rogers Device Protection, click here.
You can also check out the answers to other questions in the series here:
Jennifer is a regular contributor to RedBoard.
When asked what could be done to help at-risk youth, a Toronto police officer suggested keeping kids at school well into the evening. Catherine Parsonage and her colleagues at the Toronto Foundation for Student Success (TFSS) took his advice to heart, offering middle school students a place to go during the after-school window when they’re believed to be the most vulnerable.
The organization, along with the Toronto District School Board’s Model Schools for Inner Cities, launched a program called beyond 3:30, which helps Toronto kids with their homework and provides opportunities to play sports and learn about cooking and nutrition until 7:30 p.m. every school day. With help from Rogers Youth Fund, the program aims to help students develop social skills while improving their self-esteem.
We asked Catherine, who is the organization’s executive director and C.E.O., to speak with us about the great work done by the Toronto Foundation for Student Success. Here’s what she had to say:
What is the Toronto Foundation for Student Success?
We’re the independent charitable organization of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), and our mission is to remove barriers to success in school for students. We work where we feel we can make the most difference. At beyond 3:30, for instance, our goal is to keep vulnerable youth safe and engaged after school so that they don’t have to look for somewhere else to belong. When young folks get the help and the space they need to complete their homework they feel better about themselves. When they get to “blow off some steam” after school by participating in physical activity and then get to prepare and eat nutritious food together, not only are they healthier but they are happier. They develop interpersonal skills, become part of a community where they feel they belong and are less inclined to join gangs. Research shows that the time between the end of school and 7:30 p.m. each evening is when our youth are most at risk.
How has Rogers Youth Fund helped beyond 3:30?
Rogers Youth Fund has given us the gift of paid teacher-trained staff, who provide, among other things, at least 60 minutes of homework help each day. These are recent grads with teacher training, who often grew up in the same neighborhoods as the students and share a cultural background with our kids. In addition, Rogers Youth Fund provides us with tablets which students use to research their homework.
Funding from Rogers Communications has also given us the ability to participate in a major research project which will follow beyond 3:30 students over a seven-year period. The TDSB’s Research Department is analyzing the impact of our beyond 3:30 program, which requires that we collect an extensive amount of data. Thanks to Rogers, we’ve been able to hire a research assistant to gather that data. Early results are exciting: in the first phase of the study, 70 per cent of students participating in the beyond 3:30 program reported their marks have increased. Other indications lead us to believe that even more encouraging results could be announced shortly.
How many children participate in the program?
At any given time we have 1,200 middle school children involved in our program. Over 5,000 students in 13 schools have come through the program over the last four years. We believe strongly in this program and are excited to think about how it will help transform the reality of children in our neighbourhoods.
How could a program like beyond 3:30 change our community?
If we can keep our young people from feeling disenfranchised and from joining gangs, then we all win. If we can help our young people complete their homework and succeed in school, then we all win. If our youth are healthier, then we all win. And if our young people are connected to their school communities and to each other in positive ways, then this can only benefit the wider community and make our city healthier.